In response to the energy crisis, some businesses and governments are calling for further fossil fuel exploration, but a recent study shows that this is both unnecessary and dangerous for preventing the worst effects of the climate issue. According to information made public on Wednesday by the energy think tank Ember, all of the additional electricity demand during the first half of 2022 was satisfied by renewable energy.
In the paper, Malgorzata Wiatros-Motyka, a senior electricity analyst at Ember, stated that “Wind and solar are showing themselves amid the energy crisis.” Building enough sustainable energy to satisfy the growing demand for electricity around the world is the first step towards breaking the world’s shackles on expensive fossil fuels.
Ember’s “Global Electricity Mid-Year Insights” for 2022 included the findings. The first half of the year saw an increase in electricity demand of 389 terawatt hours, or 3%, over the same period in 2021. This took place concurrently with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, which precipitated an international energy crisis. However, during the same time frame, the production of renewable energy rose by 416 terawatt hours. According to the Independent, This shows that 107% of the demand was really met by renewable resources. The study found that new wind and solar energy met 77% of the increased demand, with hydropower filling the remaining 3%.
In the report, Wiatros-Motyka stated that “the growth in wind and solar in the first half of 2022 prevented a 4% increase in fossil generation.” “This prevented 230 Mt CO2 emissions and US$40 billion in gasoline prices.”
In China, 92 percent of electricity demand was satisfied by new wind and solar, compared to 81 percent in the U.S. and 23 percent in India. Data from 75 countries, which together account for 90% of global electricity use, were used in the investigation.
Does this indicate that the demand for fossil fuels has finally reached its peak? In 2015 and 2019, renewable energy sources satisfied the need for electricity; nevertheless, these were both years with below-average growth in electricity consumption, compared to the first half of 2022, which had average growth.
As the World proceeds toward being more electrified, “we are closer to the critical point where renewables are able to match that rise in global electricity consumption,” Ember worldwide program leads Dave Jones told AFP.
We’re not there yet, though, as seen by the rise in coal and gas use in July and August, when China had a hydropower shortage due to a drought and heat wave. Owing to this, despite its promising start, 2022 may once again set records for fossil-fuel generation and carbon dioxide emissions from the power industry.